Monday, 28 September 2015

Team SAMH: The Banchory Beast Race 2015

Some of you may already know I've been raising money for the Scottish Association for Mental Health this year, along with my fiance, my sister and her friend. Between us we've ran the Colour Me Rad 5k, raced the Ythan Challenge and swam 3 miles in the Great Scottish Swim. My latest challenge was to complete the Prime Four Beast Race in Banchory... yep, I tamed the beast for the second year in a row!

The Beast Race is a 10k obstacle course set in the gorgeous surroundings of Knockburn Loch, with lots of uphill running and 25 obstacles. You can see some photos and my GoPro video from the day below!! The whole day was well organised and the course was fantastic, even though we were in the last wave of the day and the ground was pretty wrecked by then! The silent disco warm up is my favourite, and I love their wooden medals and the t-shirt, which is now included in the entry fee. It's fab quality and a good fit - one of the best I've received at a race. I was also impressed by the marshalls this year - there was plenty of them on hand and they were really encouraging, giving an extra boost of motivation to those that needed it. One of them even gave away his own boots to a runner that lost his trainer in the mud!

We ran, swam, crawled and climbed our way through the course, completing it in 1 hour 47 minutes - especially impressive when Gordon had done zero training, bar two or three 5k runs!! Some of the obstacles are absolutely disgusting and the water is freezing but you just have to grit your teeth and go for it. The Beast is one of my favourite races and I'd recommend it to anyone who fancies a challenge - physically and mentally! We will definitely be back next year. 

I've raised £512 for SAMH so far and would love to make it to £600 so please, if you can spare even £1, dig deep and text "CBMH83 £amount" to 70070!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A New Home

I can't believe it's almost a month since Gordon and I picked up the keys to our new home! It still hasn't really sunk in that we're officially homeowners. To be honest, buying a house wasn't in our plans for this year. Don't get me wrong we'd been saving for a deposit and browsing online but didn't expect the right house to come along so soon. It's the only one we ever viewed in person! Most people will probably think we're mad but it just ticked all the boxes and we couldn't get it out of our heads. We definitely would of regretted it if we'd missed out! We're still waiting on furniture arriving so I don't think it'll feel real for a while - I feel like I'm just sleeping over at somebody else's house! It's the most grown up thing I've ever done and is both exciting and scary all at the same time. 


The kitchen was one of the main reasons I fell in love with the house. I'm a total foodie and love spending time in my kitchen; cooking, eating, just sitting around a table with family and friends... There's plenty room for that here. We bought the fridge freezer, stools and a couple of recliners from the previous owners and they also left their dishwasher and wine fridge! There's a pantry off to the side, a double oven perfect for my big cook offs and an island in the middle. At the moment we eat at the island and have the recliners in front of the TV to make a relaxing wee family area. Eventually I'll get a great big dining table to fill that space so we can do dinner parties and a big family Christmas! Although we did also consider how good a corner sofa would look there... Our one bedroom flat had a tiny kitchen with no room for a dining table, so this is a big step up!

 Hanging Heart - Next (similar)

Master Bedroom

Our bedroom is also a serious upgrade from the flat! There we shared a double wardrobe, one bedside table and barely had enough room to walk around the bed. Now we have built in mirrored wardrobes right across the room, plenty space for a kingsize bed, two bedside tables and a chest of drawers... and still a decent amount of floor space! Our bed is on order and will hopefully be here in the next week or two, but for now I'm just enjoying the wardrobes.

 Carrie Bradshaw print - Etsy
 My Kardashian inspired fitness wardrobe ;)

Living Room

I can't wait for cosy winters in front of the fire place!! The granite brickwork actually goes further along the wall and then sticks out slightly to create a little corner where our TV will probably go. I'm a bit unsure of that extra bit but love the fireplace itself as it's a really great feature to have in a room. Both Gordon and I love the copper homeware trend at the moment so that's a boost too! We've ordered a French Connection sofa from DFS which will hopefully arrive next week and make our house start to feel more like a home. The back of the house has been extended quite a lot so there's a step up to another space in this room. It's a little bit random and we're not really sure what to do with it to be honest. The last owners had their dining table there but I feel like I'd miss out on all the fun if my guests were seated there while I'm cooking in the kitchen. So far all it's been used for is overexcited new homeowner somersaults... "So much room for activities!"

Before ---> After. (Dulux Feature Wall in Urban Obsession)
Metal jug - B&Q // Personalised dog print - Gift // Globe lamp - ASDA

We were fairly lucky that the house doesn't need much done to it at all, just cosmetics. And even then there's not actually anything wrong with it, it's just the odd bit of colour that isn't our taste. The lime green back porch was painted white on day one! Our living room was second in line for a mini makeover and the spare rooms are next. Gordon's already painted over the floral wallpaper in the box room but I'd like to change the blue carpet at some point down the line as well. We'd better paint over the Celtic themed spare bedroom before my brother comes to visit! 

I'll maybe post some home updates as we go along, if anybody would like to see them? Also, let me know your favourite places to shop for homeware. My love for marble plant pots and copper light shades is growing fast!!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Breakfast at Tribeca, Glasgow

There is no place I love more than New York, and it seems like someone in Glasgow feels the same way. Tribeca bar & grill is "a little slice of the big apple in the heart of your neighbourhood". Well if you can't go to New York, why not bring New York to Glasgow? The Giffnock restaurant is a popular local haunt, filled with memorabilia, with their very own yellow cab & NYPD car outside, serving up traditional "New Yoik" brunch and "cwafee"!

We arrived early on a Sunday morning to an almost empty restaurant, a warm welcome and a big pot of green tea. They have a huge selection of pancakes, French toast, eggs, sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, American cereals (Lucky Charms!), and their famous Snow Blizzard ice cream shakes. Gordon went for the Varick breakfast - a full Scottish served with French toast and Canadian maple syrup! I very nearly had French toast with Reese's peanut butter and banana but decided to go down the slightly healthier route, and chose the Little Havana omelette. A 5 egg monster stuffed with ham, pulled pork, jalapenos and cheese - it was bigger than my face! I didn't eat again until supper time. Tribeca 1, Christy 0. 

You can find the the original New York kitchen at 3 locations throughout the city and a new one in Edinburgh too! Well worth a visit.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

SFN Expo 2015

Today is national Fitness Day, so what better day to write about my experience at the SFN Expo. For those of you who don't know, SFN is a Scottish sports, fitness and nutrition expo held in Glasgow's SECC. It's only in its second year but is already a fairly big event, attracting top athletes, nutrition experts and general fitness folk from all over the world. 

I only managed to get down for the Sunday, meaning I missed seeing Saturday's UKBFF Scottish Grand Prix... stupid work! Anyway, August had been a really shitty, stressful month and I'd done nothing but eat crap and even lost my gym mojo... so I wasn't really all that fussed about the expo by the time it came round. We decided to head down anyway as it was a chance to get away and spend some time with family down in Glasgow too.

The expo was held in a smaller hall of the SECC and was full of stands selling gym gear, protein supplements, coconut oils, nut butters, OCRs and everything in between. It catered for all types of fitness/health interests, and wasn't all muscle bound, steroid using, half naked men. There was a strong female presence which is apparently uncommon at these type of things, so good on them getting the ladies involved! While some of the stands were good to see, I wished that there was less sales/marketing and more actual fitness. We did see some of the Strongman competition, Crossfit games, Protein Pow workshops, Eddie Hall's deadlifting workshop and the 100 rep challenge, but there wasn't really that much opportunities to get involved and get your sweat on. It would of been nice to get a workout in while we were there!

I paid extra for VIP tickets, which gave us earlier entry (which we didn't use, because I was more interested in breakfast), a Gym Shark t-shirt and a "goody bag" which only contained some Jodie Marsh caffeine pills...? There was apparently a VIP area where you could go to grab a seat and chill out but I never did spot that. We did however get a bottle of Lucozade at the door and the t-shirt is good quality. Although I find it strange that the SFN logo isn't on it, but maybe that's just me. A couple of stands gave us t-shirts too (one for posing for a photo & the other for completing a kettlebell challenge) and Gordon scored some protein samples with his ProMixx.

My favourite part of the day was definitely the nutrition seminars. We managed to fit in talks from Ru Anderson (Starting Fat Loss: 3 Key Steps to Success), Scott Baptie (Biggest Nutrition Mistakes & How to Avoid Them) and my favourite podcast host Ben Coomber (How to Build a Diet From the Ground Up). All 3 were informative, straight to the point and a bit of a reality check. Scott's part on clean eating made me laugh but he was bang on (what I consider clean eating is very UNclean to others, and vice versa) and Ben got me thinking about my goals - picking ONE that is actually important to me, and staying focused on it.

I was chuffed to hunt down Ben Coomber for a photo op, got to spend some time with Amey from Teacups & Buttondrops and also grabbed 5 minutes with Lucy Doyle, the woman behind the SFN Sisterhood. (A facebook group made to support and encourage all women in the fitness world, look it up!) I'm glad we went in the end and I'd definitely go back. As the expo is only in it's 2nd year I imagine they'll be listening to feedback to make it bigger and better each year. I left feeling inspired, ready to make some changes and excited to get back in the gym again!

Sorry for the rubbish iPhone photos!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Village Urban Resort, Aberdeen

This post is very delayed! Away back in April (?) Gordon and I spent the night at Aberdeen's new Village Urban Resort hotel. We'd got a deal off for £60 which covered a 3 course meal for 2, a nights stay and access to the hotel's leisure facilities - gym, pool, sauna etc. You'd usually spend at least £60 just for a hotel room alone! The hotel is a bit out of the town centre, up at Kingswells, but it's the kind of place you could go for a relaxing weekend and not need to leave. There's the fitness facilities, a spa, 2 restaurant/bars and even a Starbucks all under one roof.

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Smoked salmon
Crab linguine
BBQ ribs.
Jalapeno corn pudding
Chocolate brownie
Apple crumble.

It's all very modern and industrial looking, our meal was good (although it turns out I'm not a fan of crab!) and the bed was really comfy. The only thing they're missing is a cocktail list in the bar! My favourite part however was the gym. All the equipment is brand new, state of the art gear and they have pretty much everything you could think of. There's an area full of your usual cardio machines - treadmills, cross trainers etc - and then a huge section dedicated to weights - dumbells, barbells, squat racks, leg presses, pull up bars... I'm used to a tiny little council gym which only has room for the basics so this gym was a right treat, I could of spent the whole day there!

I know itison have run the same deal again since we visited The Village, so it's definitely worth keeping an eye out for anything similar popping up again! 

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